Frontrunning: May 17

  • Japan Considers Retaliation Against U.S. Steel Tariffs (WSJ)
  • US sanctions war against Iran prompts fight-back from Europe (CNBC)
  • North Korea says won’t hold talks with ‘incompetent’ South unless differences settled (Reuters)
  • Trump Shows Flexibility on North Korea Talks (BBG)
  • Bolton Emerges as Potential Wrecking Ball for Trump’s Kim Summit (BBG)
  • Top Trump Adviser Peter Navarro to Take Part in China Talks After All (BBG)
  • Partial Surrender of Nukes Could Solve North Korea Impasse: Diplomat (WSJ)
  • Farms, Factories Won’t Meet U.S. Goal to Cut China Deficit (WSJ)
  • Einhorn Is Having a Hedge-Fund Midlife Crisis as Losses Mount (BBG)
  • Strong Earnings? Don’t Expect the Market to Rally (WSJ)
  • Taking Silicon Valley startups to China (Reuters)
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims rise; unemployment rolls smallest in 45 years (Reuters)
  • Walmart Holds Its Ground in U.S. Amid Unseasonable April Weather (BBG)
  • Oil Is Above $70, but Frackers Still Struggle to Make Money (WSJ)
  • Kroger Counters Amazon’s Grocery Offensive With Ocado Deal (BBG)
  • Harvard’s Reinhart Says Emerging Markets Are in Tougher Spot Than During ‘08 Crisis (BBG)
  • Dubai Aerospace in talks to place huge order for 400 jets (Reuters)
  • Takeda CEO prescribes surgical R&D cuts after $62 billion Shire deal (Reuters)
  • As Rosneft’s Vietnam unit drills in disputed area of South China Sea, Beijing issues warning (Reuters)
  • 40% in U.S. can’t afford middle-class basics (Axios)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– U.S. President Donald Trump sought to counter criticism of his administration’s efforts to ease tough U.S. penalties on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp . In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump pushed back against critics who have accused him of going soft on China this week in the ZTE matter. on.wsj.com/2rNNeJ3

– Executives at Walt Disney Co have discussed bringing animation guru John Lasseter back to the company in a new role that would reduce his managerial power but allow him to retain creative influence, according to a person familiar with the matter. on.wsj.com/2Ingy3U

– U.S. President Donald Trump is still planning to hold a summit meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, U.S. officials said, brushing off sharp comments by one of Pyongyang’s senior diplomats that caught the Trump administration by surprise. on.wsj.com/2rLrdvd

– U.S. safety investigators on Wednesday opened the third active investigation of a Tesla Inc vehicle that crashed while the driver-assistance system Autopilot was said to be in use. on.wsj.com/2ImZWto

– Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has named the new leaders of the proposed remaining Fox company if its pending deal to sell much of the company to Walt Disney Co closes. Lachlan Murdoch will serve as chairman and chief executive of the so-called New Fox, while Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairman, the company said on Wednesday. on.wsj.com/2L6Eqqn

– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first nonopioid treatment to help adults manage opioid withdrawal symptoms as the agency looks to continue to encourage the development of therapies to help patients suffering from addiction. on.wsj.com/2k0NQr4

 

FT

The Big Four accountancy firms— KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PwC — have drawn up contingency plans for a break up of their UK businesses after pressure for a forced split rises following high-profile corporate collapses that have called into question the quality of their work as both auditors and consultants for the largest British companies.

Britain’s digital technology sector is growing faster than the economy as a whole and spreading beyond the south-east and big regional cities, according to an annual report compiled by the state-funded advocacy body Tech Nation.

Transport for London said its full-year operating deficit widened by 26 percent to 1 billion pounds ($1.35 billion) after its government grant was cut and passenger numbers fell.

Former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan said at an event on Wednesday he would not apply to become governor of the Bank of England when the vacancy is advertised later this year.

 

NYT

– Senate Democrats narrowly won a vote on Wednesday to save so-called net neutrality rules that ensure unobstructed access to the internet. nyti.ms/2KrJHre

– Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Inc’s chief executive, plans to meet with members of the European Parliament as early as next week, the latest stop in a wide-ranging apology tour over the social network’s use of people’s personal data. nyti.ms/2wPSFg4

– For a dynastic drama that played out over decades, with sons falling in and out of favor and an aging father unwilling to loosen his grasp, the accession on Wednesday was anticlimactic: Lachlan Murdoch, as expected, was named chief executive and chairman of his family’s shrinking television conglomerate, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc . nyti.ms/2k4N4JQ

– Didi Chuxing, China’s wildly popular ride-sharing service, said on Wednesday that it would overhaul its app and its safety and security practices, after reports that a passenger had been raped and killed by her driver. nyti.ms/2k3Z3ac

– Novartis’s top lawyer is to retire from the company over payments made by the pharmaceutical giant to President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen, the Swiss drug maker said on Wednesday. nyti.ms/2rU3SH1

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL
** Hydro One Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer Mayo Schmidt is warning that threats from politicians in Ontario’s election campaign are weighing on the business and will have consequences. (tgam.ca/2rR4GvU)

** Alternative mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc has secured a smaller, less expensive credit line from two Canadian banks to backstop any unexpected funding needs. (tgam.ca/2rOFIO5)

** Canadian diamond miner Stornoway Diamond Corp has cut its production and sales guidance for the year, putting pressure on its balance sheet at a critical time as it shifts operations at its Renard mine from open pit to below ground. (tgam.ca/2Kx3E00)

NATIONAL POST
** The Liberal government on Wednesday unveiled a financial backstop for the Trans Mountain pipeline, offering to reimburse developer Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd for financial losses due to British Columbia Premier John Horgan’s “attempts to delay or obstruct the project.” (bit.ly/2rR4LzI)

** Alberta Premier Rachel Notley threatened to cut off oil shipments to British Columbia “very quickly” on Wednesday, as her government passed its controversial new law that grants the government sweeping new powers over oil and gas shipments. (bit.ly/2KxtkJU)

** Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp Inc, is the latest industry magnate to predict the world has reached “peak gold,” saying that from here on out, mine production will continue to decline because all the major deposits have been discovered. (bit.ly/2KuxUbU)

 

Britain

The Times

Britain’s chief accounting regulator singled out Carillion Plc for commendation as a model of good accounting practice only months before it began to implode. bit.ly/2rNXDUN

Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen , is taking a five-month leave of absence from commodities group Glencore Plc to give him more time to devote to his role as deputy chairman of Sky, which is at the centre of a takeover battle. bit.ly/2rM52En

The Guardian

Deliveroo said it will hand out 10 million pounds ($13.54 million) of shares to 2,000 employees – but not to the thousands of couriers who deliver takeaway food for the company. bit.ly/2rNFoil

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant group, Kavalake, has swung to a multimillion pound loss as it plans to shut one of its flagship venues, Maze in London’s Mayfair, and open five new restaurants overseas. bit.ly/2rNALVK

The Telegraph

Capita Plc put patient safety at risk, including incorrectly informing dozens of women that they were no longer part of the cervical screening programme, as it struggled to manage an NHS support services contract which was supposed to save the health service millions of pounds, a National Audit Office (NAO) investigation has found. bit.ly/2rPnXOB

French oil major Total SA may turn its back on its $1 billion (738.55 million pounds) Iranian gas project within six months unless it can clinch a sanctions waiver for the project from the U.S. government. bit.ly/2rMvgGE

Sky News

The new chief executive of Royal Mail Group has been paid nearly 6 million pounds to buy him out of his contract in a move that could spark fury among former state-owned company’s trade unions and shareholders. bit.ly/2rNIV0e

Mothercare Plc will on Thursday take the extraordinary step of rehiring the chief executive it sacked last ‎month as it unveils a rescue plan involving the closure of 50 high street shops. bit.ly/2rOzv4z

The Independent

BHP Billiton Plc faces legal action from shareholders who say the mining giant misled them over safety measures at a dam in Brazil which broke, killing 19 people and causing Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster. ind.pn/2L5uVrr

The troubled transatlantic airline Primera Air has abruptly cancelled its maiden flight from Stansted to Toronto, blaming a “delay of aircraft delivery from manufacturer”. ind.pn/2IrMtR6

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